Prime celebrates Doctor Who’s 50th by making contact with the moon – UPDATED

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Doctor Who, DraftFCB came up with a campaign for Prime that enabled fans of the show to send an extension of themselves on a voyage to the moon.   

Prime announced on 11 November that 50 selected voices would be sent more than 750, 000 kilometres through space via moon bounce technology, a method developed by the US military in 1940 and which is currently only practised by a niche group of radio astronomy specialists.

DraftFCB executive creative director Regan Grafton credits creatives Angelo An and Allan Jones for coming up with the idea, and he says that they did the research required to bring the concept to life.

“The concept was originally intended for Myth Busters, but show didn’t end up using it. When the Doctor Who anniversary came up, we thought moon bouncing messages would be a great way to celebrate the occasion,” says Grafton 

Once the audio messages left earth, they travelled to the moon, and were then bounced back to an earth-based receiver in a matter of seconds. During this space odyssey, the messages underwent varying degrees of distortion, the extent of which was determined by the stage of the lunar cycle and the position of the moon.  

DraftFCB partnered with a moon bounce specialist in Switzerland to launch the competition, and then invited people to lodge their entries at the official moonbouncer website or by calling the popular fan site 0800 TARDIS between 5 and 13 November. While the competition was running, the website said “Be one of 50 to fire a message through space and time,” but it has since been updated to now say, “The moonbouncer messaging service has now closed. Stand by for incoming lunar transmissions.”

The 50 best entries will be released to the public via the website on 18 November, and Grafton says that the DraftFCB team has thoroughly enjoyed listening to the entries thus far.

“There were hundreds of entries. There were some hardcore fans, people who sent messages to deceased loved ones, kids speaking, and dogs barking. It went from completely random to people quoting the films,” says Grafton.       

Grafton also told StopPress that the top three or four messages would be used in radio commercials to promote the 50th anniversary of the show. 

The New Zealand television premiere of the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, ‘The Day of the Doctor’, will appear exclusively on Prime on 24 November.

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